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York House School

   
4176 Alexandra Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 2V6

ADD TO SHORTLIST   Website
Curriculum:
Liberal Arts,  Reggio Emilia
Grades (Gender):
JK to 12 (Girls)
Tuition:
$20,600 to 21,400/year
Main Language:
N/A
Avg. Class Size:
16 to 22
Enrolment:
Day: 656 (Gr. JK - 12)

School Address
4176 Alexandra Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 2V6
3274 East Boulevard, Vancouver, , V6J 4A6

About this school:

highlights

York House School provides a progressive education for girls from JK to Grade 12. Since 1932, York House School has built its reputation on preparing girls to thrive and make a difference in the world. Our academic programs are rigorous, innovative, and call for the authentic application of knowledge and the mastery of 21st Century skills such as creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Our motto, “Not for Ourselves Alone”, guides us as we equip our girls to be bold and ethical citizens of the world.

Visit school website




Reviews:

highlights

The Our Kids review of York House School

our takeYork House was founded in 1932 by seven women looking to provide a better educational experience for girls. There were just 17 students that year, though the school has grown considerably over the years, all the while adapting the program to the immediate needs of the student population. The current senior school building was opened in 2013, and it’s stunning pretty much in every way. The building provides a good sense of the culture of the school, one that is based in community, both local and beyond. The design was intended to inspire learners, and it certainly does, in all kinds of ways. One of them is the list of thousands of famous women printed on the glass barriers throughout the central atrium. Each was selected by students, and together they are a demonstration, one that students pass every day, of the extensive community of visionary women that they, too, will join. York House has a lot to offer, and that kind of positive reinforcement, and that constant restatement of possibility, is certainly high on the list.





Upcoming Events Next event: February 01, 2018

upcoming events
  • February 01, 2018Gr. 1-7 and Gr. 9-12 Application Deadline
    York House School, 4176 Alexandra Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
    Register by Thursday, February 01 from 04:00 pm

    Grade 1-7 and Grade 9-12 Application Deadline: February 1, 2018.



Principal's Message

principal

Julie Rousseau, Acting Head of School

York House School is a small and vibrant community that is welcoming and inclusive. It is where students, parents, grandparents, alumnae, faculty, and staff benefit from a true sense of belonging. We provide an exceptional all-girls learning environment that is dynamic, challenging, and supportive — our students are at the heart of the school. Our focus is on educating the whole child and providing enriched learning opportunities where each girl explores, discovers, and nurtures her talents and passions. Since 1932, we have believed that with the right education, girls can achieve anything! 

Our outstanding teachers provide rich and engaging learning experiences while paying attention to each student’s unique strengths, interests, and needs. Our programs are rigorous and relevant to student experiences. We provide a dynamic 21st Century learning environment where our girls learn how to think deeply, ask critical questions, reason, problem solve, and create new information.

We take great pride in the accomplishments of our students, and are committed to educating young women for post-secondary studies and beyond. Our graduates have the vision and courage to be contributing global citizens who make a difference in their local and global communities.

Please explore our website, visit us during our open houses, or book a tour to learn more. We look forward to welcoming you to our incredible school.


Academics


Curriculum Liberal Arts, Reggio Emilia

Primary Curriculum: Liberal Arts

Secondary Curriculum: Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia emphasizes the role of the child in directing their own learning. Heavily intertwined with progressive ideals in education, the program espouses ideas such as child-centred classrooms, discovery learning, and 21st century education.
If you want to learn more about Reggio Emilia education, check out our comprehensive guide.


What York House School says: At York House School our curriculum focuses on developing the passions, skills, and unique learning profiles of diverse learners. Within a caring and close-knit community, we strive to nurture the whole child including and their social, emotional, and cognitive development. We pay careful attention to the individual learning profile of each student, building on their strengths and providing support for areas of growth. Our instructional approach blends curricular, experiential, and real-life learning opportunities. At York House School, our rigorous and innovative programs and experiences enable students to acquire the knowledge and develop the character and competencies to become bold leaders and ethical global citizens.

  • Approach:
    Focus
    Academic


  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.


    Early Reading
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Writing
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Science
    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
      Biology
      Chemistry
      Ecology
      Geology
      Meteorology
      Physics
      Physiology
      Zoology
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Social Studies
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Foreign Languages
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish


    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Computers and Technology
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Sex and Health Education British Columbia curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education:
    Topics We begin covering this topic at: Begins in British Columbia
    Body parts JK K
    Nutrition JK K
    Human development JK K
    Puberty Gr. 4 Gr. 4
    Sexual health and hygiene JK
    Reproduction JK
    Pregnancy JK
    Sexually transmitted infections Gr. 6 Gr. 6
    Sex and decision-making Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Contraception Gr. 6 Gr. 6
    Consent Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Sexual orientation Gr. 6 Gr. 6
    Gender identity Gr. 6 Gr. 6
    Misconceptions relating to sexuality Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Relationships and intimacy Gr. 5 Gr. 5
    Bias and stereotyping about sex Gr. 4
    Sexual harassment Gr. 6 K
    Body image issues Gr. 4 Gr. 4
    Mental illness Gr. 6 Gr. 7
    Social justice and diversity Gr. 5

    What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Approach:
    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.


    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.

    Traditional

    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.

    Progressive

    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.


    What York House School says: This information is not currently available.



    Preschool/K Curriculum Reggio Emilia

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Reggio Emilia programs aim to develop curiosity and problem-solving skills through the liberal use of “projects”, (as opposed to “activities” or “lessons”). Teachers design projects for children around their demonstrated interests. Projects can be geared to an individual student, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. Projects can last from a few days to the whole year. Art is strongly emphasized and is typically incorporated into every project. Teachers actively participate in projects alongside students, rather than sitting back and observing. A high degree of parent involvement is also encouraged, particularly when forming curriculums and project plans (which happens throughout the academic year).
    If you want to learn more about Reggio Emilia education, check out our comprehensive guide.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What York House School says: The Little School was a pioneer in adopting the Reggio Emilio approach to early childhood education. The nature-based program fosters the principles of respect, responsibility, and community in a supportive and enriching environment. Each child is recognized as strong, capable and resilient, rich with wonder and knowledge. Through a self-guided approach to learning, children's natural curiosity and wonder drives them to understand the world and their place within it. Students develop their literacy and numeracy skills through the exploration of the environment around them, posing questions, and documenting their learning.


    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What York House School says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.


    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Social

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Social
    Socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better.

    What York House School says: This information is not currently available.


    Special Needs Support High

    High

    York House School provides a high degree of support for special needs students.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Accommodations
      Modifications
      Extra support
    • What York House School says: Students are referred to the Learning Strategies team at York House School who investigate the nature of the challenge(s) and when necessary refer for further (outside) assessment. Once the nature of the difficulty has been identified, every effort is made to accommodate the student\'s needs and to make the necessary adaptations to ensure optimum access to curricula.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      Learning disabilities
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Dyscalculia
      Dysgraphia
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Developmental
      Autism
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Physical
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Blindness
      Deafness
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Psychotherapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • What York House School says: Students are referred to the Learning Strategies team at York House School who investigate the nature of the challenge(s) and when necessary refer for further (outside) assessment. Once the nature of the difficulty has been identified, every effort is made to accommodate the student\'s needs and to make the necessary adaptations to ensure optimum access to curricula.


    Gifted Learner Support In-class adaptations

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

     GradesJKSK12345678
    Non-lunch recessFrequency 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day 1/day
    Location Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside
    Amount 30 30 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60
    Lunch recessAmount 30 30 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20

    What York House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Non-lunch recesses: All of this school’s non-lunch recesses take place between classes or academic periods.


    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What York House School says:

    This information is not currently available.


    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Badminton
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Cross-country skiing
      Downhill skiing
      Field Hockey
      Football
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Rowing
      Rugby
      Running
      Sailing
      Snowboarding
      Soccer
      Softball
      Squash
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
    • Clubs Offered
      Animation
      Art Club
      Audiovisual Club
      Band
      Chess Club
      Choir
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Math Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Photography
      Poetry/Literature club
      Robotics club
      School newspaper
      Science Club
      Student Council
      Yearbook
      Yoga

    Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition

     
    JKSK123456789101112
    Day$20,600$21,400
    What York House School says: Above fees are dependent on the school receiving the per student Provincial Independent School grant from the Ministry of Education for each qualifying student. To qualify for this grant, the student must attend school a min of 600 hrs between Sept 1 to May 15 and the parent must be a permanent resident of BC and either a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or otherwise lawfully admitted to Canada

    Discounts

    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students1.5%


    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.



    Merit based Scholarships

    York House School
    Amount: 50%
    Other
    Deadline: 01/14/2013
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 8 to 12—Provides partial funding of annual tuition fees from Gr. 8 to graduation. The Foundation awards full and partial scholarships to students in the junior and senior grades who demonstrate excellence in academics, athletics and/or the arts, and citizenship, and whose families demonstrate financial need.
    For more details, visit: www.yorkhouse.ca/page.aspx?pid=320
    York House School
    Amount: 50%
    Other
    Deadline: 01/14/2013
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 8 to 12—Provides partial funding of annual tuition fees from Gr 8 to graduation, to a girl whose mother, grandmother or aunt attended York House. The Foundation awards full and partial scholarships to students in the junior and senior grades who demonstrate excellence in academics, athletics and/or the arts, and citizenship, and whose families demonstrate financial need.
    For more details, visit: www.yorkhouse.ca/page.aspx?pid=320

    Enrollment

    Total enrollment 656
    Average enrollment per grade44
    Average class size16 to 22
    Gender (grades)JK to 12 (Girls)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.


    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview1 - 12
    SSAT8 - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)JK - 12
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    December 01, 2017


    What York House School says:

    Applicant families must have Permanent Residency status or be Canadian citizens.  Applications are submitted online (www.yorkhouse.ca/application) and supporting documents must be mailed or couriered.   Supporting documents include proof of Permanent Residency status/Canadian citizenship, report cards, parent business cards and 2 reference letters (one about the applicant, one about the family).



    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    30%

    Type of student York House School is looking for: We are looking for students who are inquisitive, curious and eager to engage in learning. Girls who thrive at our school embrace all that our programs have to offer: from rigorous academic programs to experiential learning opportunities, to participation in a wide variety of extracurricular programs in fine arts, athletics and community service.



    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    16 (25%)24 (30%)000000024 - 26 (25%)0000

    University Placement

    highlights
    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Internships
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)


    Notable Alumni

    highlights

    Alumni Highlights


    Stories & Testimonials

    News

    Bringing a spectrum of colour to the Arbutus Corridor

    This spring, York House School (YHS) Grade 2 students collaborated with the Arbutus Greenway and Vancouver Biennale Big IDEAS education program to create their own public art installation. Students chose to reimagine a section of the Arbutus Corridor to serve the needs and wants of the local community. A STEAM project of their own, the students visited the site, interviewed community members, and learned about the natural environment. To bring awareness to this space and community, the students collaborated with Biennale artist, Toni Latour. The students learned about public art, its role in creating community, and visited several of the Vancouver Biennale’s large scale public art installations across Metro Vancouver.

    While visiting the Arbutus Corridor, students were inspired by the word happy stenciled in bright yellow on the asphalt. Students began to talk about how the bright colour and positive message made them feel. To add more colour to the corridor, students painted over 700 rocks in a spectrum of colours. On the rocks, students wrote positive messages encouraging community members to “smile,” “count the trees”, and “think about what this space could be.”

    On June 9th the students installed the painted rocks on the Arbutus Greenway to inspire community engagement and awareness on the Arbutus Corridor on each side of the asphalt between Nanton Road and Quilchena Park. The project culminated in an exhibit where the teams of students were able to show the displays they created which explored other creative ideas for the Arbutus Corridor including a cycle through coffee shop, a lending library, a dog park, and a mural that would hide the view of the power station in the background. Parents, staff, teachers, and members of the Biennale and the City of Vancouver attended and were equally impressed with the creativity and thoughtfulness of the girls. You never know, you might even see the City adopt some of their ideas!

    Read the full story here.

    For more information please visit www.vancouverbiennale.com.

    ...



    STEAM at York House

    Jennifer Ford Sharpe joined us in September as our Junior School STEAM Coordinator and some exciting things have been happening since then. Jennifer received her Master of Arts in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, England and a Masters of Arts in Child Study and Education at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining York House, Jennifer has applied STEAM throughout her career including as a visual arts teacher at the Mabin School, as an Environmental and Sustainability Education Graduate Assistant at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), as Education and Communications Coordinator at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy, and more.

    And what is STEAM you may ask? STEAM is the acronym for the merging of the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math. Some people may be familiar with STEM, which was simply missing the “art and design” component.

    STEAM encourages the core competencies of creative and critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and positive personal and cultural identity.

    Some of the exciting projects Jennifer has been working on with students across the grades in the Junior School include:

    Grade 1. Not A Box - After reading Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, students were given the creativity challenge to imagine their shoebox as anything but a shoebox. After creating three plans for their "not a box", students were given a range of materials to help their creations come to life. This activity truly encouraged out of the box thinking!

    Grade 3. Fairy Home Design: Inspired by author Roald Dahl’s book, The Minpins, Grade 3 girls worked in pairs to create their fairy homes. Extending their interest in our new, York House Fairy Garden, students imagined what the inside of the fairy homes should look like. This STEAM challenge explored math concepts of measurement and spatial awareness. They used their math skills to calculate the area and perimeter of the house and each room. Students went through the design thinking framework to ensure their homes served the needs, wants, and behaviors of the fairies.

    Grade 4. First Nations astronomy: To extend the Grade 4 Social Studies unit on First Nations people and the science unit on astronomy, students will soon be looking at the First Nations legends of astronomy. Students will create stop-motion animations illustrating both a traditional first nations story and the actual process of celestial bodies moving. The hope is that students will show the value in knowing both ways of looking.

    Grade 5. Cardboard Arcade: Inspired by the video Caine's Arcade and the global Cardboard Challenge held on October first. Grade five students created arcade games for the Grade 1 students made completely out of cardboard and recycled materials. To design the toys, they went thought the design thinking framework - empathizing with the Grade 1s, ideating a number of possible games, and prototyping. Next they shared the games with Grade 1s, and made modifications based on their feedback. Students had to empathize with their users, ideate all possibilities for games, and then create their prototypes.

    And let’s not forget the magical Junior School foyer transformation that happened only a couple of weeks ago.

    Our Grade 5–7 Art Club, and teachers, Ms. Sharpe and Ms. Jurgensen, were inspired by a Shantell Martin video to create black and white line drawings and doodles to cover the light fixtures, cushions, walls, and table. They measured the space and objects first to ensure that the paper fit exactly. Our York House Core Values inspired the doodles and they managed to complete the whole project in 1 hour!

    COMPONENTS OF STEAM:

    DESIGN THINKING:
    Students learn to generate creative ideas through the act of ideating and bring those ideas to life so that others can experience their vision. By empathizing with the user, students become conscious on how their design will effect another. Students make and test prototypes, learning to adjust designs through trial and error.

    MAKER ED.
    Maker education encourages students to learn through experience and the basic human impulse to create and solve problems. Students engage in a wide range of hands-on activities from traditional crafts to digital technologies. Building, creating, and experimentation will support academic learning and extend students’ interests.

    PROJECT BASED LEARNING
    Students actively explore real-world problems and challenges. By working on long term inquiries, students will acquire a deeper knowledge and become invested in making a difference in their community.

    TECHNOLOGY
    Digital technology is incorporated in meaningful ways to enhance learning. Coding, fabrication, research, photography, and video are incorporated into programs and units of study.

    Read the full story here.

    ...



    VMUN 2017

    Fifty-seven Yorkies participated in VMUN, one of the largest contingents at the conference this year (second to St. George’s). VMUN, Vancouver Model United Nations, is the largest high-school-run Model United Nations conference in Canada. A total of 1,200 students from Canada, US, and other countries gathered together for three days (Jan 20-22) at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Vancouver.

    The purpose of VMUN is to try to find solutions for international issues by researching causes/solutions, representing a country on a committee, and negotiating a solution which most nations in the committee would be willing to agree to.

    Isabelle, Gr. 12, was on the Secretariat this year, which means she helped organize the conference. Two other Yorkies chaired committees, one acted as the official photographer, and the rest were delegates on committees ranging from beginner to advanced, and historical crisis simulations. Two of our students won awards for research and negotiating.

    The conference delegates participated in committees, speeches, caucusing, and drafting resolutions. Also, there was a midnight crisis, which is a diplomatic crisis (e.g. act of war), which has to be resolved before delegates can go back to bed! Students were also invited to attend a social/dance on the Saturday evening.

    Participants meet students from other schools/countries and within a short time are developing bloc positions, and are wheeling and dealing support for resolutions. Generally, students have a great time, while also learning a great deal about world issues and international relations. They discover they have speaking and negotiating skills they never knew.

    Read the full story here.

    ...



    Grade 6 Biomimicry Design Challenge

    Biomimicry, being inspired by nature's design, solve problems, and create new products, is reaching all sectors of society from architecture to medicine (https://biomimicry.org). This year’s Grade 6 students were involved in an in-depth study, using Design Thinking and Biomimicry, to address the question: ‘What can we learn from Nature to help us solve problems in our everyday lives?’

    A collaborative project between the Grade 6 teachers, Christine Addison, Kathy Chevreau, the STEAM coordinator, Jennifer Sharpe, and Science teacher, Lela Ling, this project touched on learning goals across the new BC curriculum.

    The students began their study by first gaining an appreciation of biodiversity, adaptations of organisms, and the concept of biomimicry. In-class experimental investigations and research, as well as a visit to the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity at UBC, provided the framework to apply their understanding to the next stage of this project.

    Working in small groups, using Design Thinking, the groups first brainstormed using different ideation strategies to identify a common problem shared by the group members. Once their problem was identified, they began to use their prior knowledge of biomimicry to seek out how nature solves a similar problem through incredible adaptations. Using the adaptation of an organism as an inspiration for their design solution, students entered into the next stage of the project; building and testing the prototype.

    Depending on the inspiration and intended solution, students were challenged to learn many new skills and concepts: from using power tools, working with electric circuits and motors to the physics of flight were just a few of the new areas learning that took place during this project.

    February 23rd was a day to celebrate the students’ learning and to showcase their design to fellow students, staff, and parents. For example, one group was inspired by the frog’s ability to absorb the impact of jumping to create a case that would protect cell phones if dropped. Another group, inspired by the elephant’s trunk, designed a user- friendly suction device to safely pick-up heavy luggage at airport carousels. These are just two examples of twenty different and original projects that visitors learned about at the Biomimicry Presentation Day. Giving students the opportunity to pursue a topic in depth and to personalize it to their own interests helped to create an incredible learning experience not only for students but also for teachers and parents alike.

    Read the full story here.

    ...



    Grade 5 Body Worlds Exhibition

    This year, our Grade 5 students had the opportunity create their own Body Worlds Exhibition, which was an extension of the Grade 5 science unit on human body systems. Working in groups of four, students were given the task to create their own life-size 3D body system model. A STEAM project, each group researched their system, learned about how it works and looks, and brainstormed ways to accurately and artistically illustrate it.

    Students were inspired by Body Worlds exhibitions that travel the world educating people about the human body and how it works. Students were also introduced to contemporary artist, Mark Jenkins, who makes packing tape castings of people and places them in public spaces. The packing tape castings became the frame for our systems.

    To illustrate their body system, groups worked collaboratively to design a scientific and artistic model using a range of materials from fabric, papier-mâché, model magic, wire, string, and recyclables. While creating, students used trial and error to determine the right materials and techniques to create their systems. To demonstrate their knowledge of their systems, students created ThingLinks (interactive images) to label their models and the important parts of the body system.

    On April 19, the students showcased their work in the Gail Ruddy Foyer and the Bentley Room, to an enthusiastic crowd who were all suitably impressed with the creativity and knowledge that each team demonstrated. We interviewed a couple of the groups so that we could share with our wider community.

    Read the full story here.

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    A Day of Discovery at Pacific Spirit Park

    This spring all classes from Grades 1 - 3 were introduced to something new for the Junior School - a day of learning in the forest. Led by Ms. Robin, our Coordinator of Outdoor Education and Risk Management, and Ms. Payette, the students visited Pacific Spirit Park at the UBC endowment lands, where they learned about plants (poisonous, edible, dangerous, and safe), as well as animals. Many beautiful birds made an appearance and slugs were certainly a favourite!

    Why you may ask did we do this? Outdoor experiential learning has been shown to promote exploration, self-confidence, and child initiated inquiry. It inspires cooperative, imaginative, creative play, and fosters a sense of connection and care for our environment. There is also growing evidence that time spent in nature improves concentration, reduces stress and anxiety levels, leads to better balance, fitness, and resilience. Besides this host of research pointing towards the importance that we create outdoor learning and play opportunities for our children, it's fun and offers a way to connect the classroom to the broader world!

    They heard stories and told stories, made connections, and, most of all, had a lot of fun! Everyone came home dirty, with big smiles and something new they had felt, seen, or thought. These days were incredibly meaningful to everyone who participated, a big thanks to the home teams who made sure their girls were ready with a lunch and rain gear for their adventure, and to the classroom teachers who took the time to join in the fun, and brought our real-world connections back into the classroom.

    Read the full story here.

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    Building Apps for Change: Programming 11

    This year’s Programming 11 students were assigned a community engagement project to apply their programming skills towards addressing a community/global issue. Students formed three teams of three to tackle developing a mobile app that could be applied to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals in a real world situation. In the lead up to this project, two of the teams took part in a global competition run by Technovation.

    Technovation offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Girls ages 10 to 18 learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a business.

    Our Programming 11 students spent from January to May collaborating through the various stages of ideation, application coding, and creating an entrepreneurial business plan, which then culminated with them presenting an investment pitch for their mobile app to a panel of various community leaders. While it was not expected that the teams would be able to develop and code a fully functioning mobile app at this stage, our students stepped up and went beyond the challenged by trying their best and actually producing well-functioning applications.

    Our three teams of students developed three separate apps to address three diverse issues. Team 1’s Aider app is an app designed to alert volunteer First Responders of someone who may be in immediate distress, Team 2 (Anika, Emma, and Yvonne) developed the CARbon app as a tool to coordinate carpooling and reduce harmful emissions, and Team 3 (aka “Appsolutely” - Amanda, Stephanie, and Grace) developed an app specifically targeting York House School students. Their app would allow students to easily access the school timetable, search important announcements for the day, and schedule important tests all in one place.

    Congratulations to all for your hard work and outstanding performance!

    Read the full story here.

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    The Breakfast Club: Making Mental Health a Priority

    Each year, the first week of May is dedicated to mental health awareness across the country. A campaign led by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), this yearly event encourages people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect, and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health. In recognition of the importance of mental health in our community, two students led the charge this year in support of the second full Mental Health Month at York House School.

    This is the third year for the Breakfast Club at York House, which focuses on initiatives in support of mental health throughout the year. This year, Alex (Gr. 12) and Leah (Gr. 11), our Breakfast Club Heads, made a concerted effort to keep the discussions going on this important subject throughout the year. They made the Breakfast Club more visible at Assembly and supported a number of initiatives such as Bell Let’s Talk Day in the early part of the year and, of course, Mental Health Month in May. For Mental Health Month, together with the support of students and teachers, they planned a series of activities that focused not on “mental illness” as such but on the importance to everyone of “mental health”.

    Posters were created and discussions were held to debunk myths around mental illness and show how we can support positive mental health in our community. These posters, created by Grade 11 student, Ysabella, paired individual students with powerful statistics about mental health together with their own personal quotes and were placed throughout the Senior School; a student led panel discussion opened up the dialogue about mental health with students across the grades; and Senior School Science Teacher, Ms. Kaddage shared her experience as a volunteer with Vancouver’s Crisis Line. At the end of the month, Alex and Leah presented to students some of the myths about mental illness at Assembly.

    The girls both cited Dr. JoAnn Deak’s visit to the school in January as something that inspired them for this year’s campaign.

    “When she came and showed students that a human brain that is depressed looks different we could see the impact this had. People like facts that they can see. For Mental Health Month, we wanted to rattle people a bit and show them the realities,” said Alex.

    Commenting on the overall impact of the month, Leah said, “It really has been such a learning and growing experience. We feel we have bridged a lot of gaps between the grades and, as a result, we have a stronger community.”

    Added Alex, “For many students, it is intimidating to go to a counsellor. Girls are a little more comfortable coming up to me when something I have said during assembly has meaning to them.”

    Alex has graduated from York House this year but when asked about what she hopes for the future at the school she commented, “I hope to see more reaching out by the older students to the younger grades. It is so intimidating to speak out for yourself in Grade 8 and 9 and it is difficult to help your friends as you get older, as long as the stigma remains.”

    Talking about her hopes for the campaign next year, in her final year at York House, Leah said, “We hope to kick-off a bit earlier and share more personal stories. I have come to learn that people sharing their stories is way more effective.”

    We are looking forward to even more of these meaningful discussions in the year ahead. Great work Breakfast Club!

    Read the full story here.

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    Associations

    Associations
    • Advanced Placement Canada (AP) Associations
    • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Associations
    • Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) Associations
    • Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Associations


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